Silver Nut Tree was started in April 2012 and deals in handcrafted jewelry made from recycled waste plastic. Excerpts from the interview:
Why did you venture into this business?
A concern for environmental issues regarding the hazardous effects of waste plastic going to the staggering landfill and the need to create awareness among people, resulted in the birth of "Silver Nut Tree". We believe up cycling need not be boring and drab and wanted to prove that going green can be super cool too.
How many employees does you have?
Currently it's just the three of us, the founding partners who are running the operations. We don't have any helping hands as yet, but would soon recruit some people. The founding members are the designers, creators, product-testers, and everything else that takes to run a business.
What challenges do you face?
The challenges that we faced while starting this business and still facing are the constant experimentations that need to be done with the base material, the PET bottle plastic, given its limitations....We are constantly finding ways to make it look pretty enough for a piece of jeweler yet maintain its strength and form. We are working with paints that are non-toxic, and finding least hazardous methods of creation is challenging. Given to the limitations of working with waste, it is also challenging to handcraft optimum quality products, each time, each day.
We have set ourselves at a certain standard in terms of the quality of our products. Most of our customers are repeat customers. They keep coming to us. So the biggest challenge we face as entrepreneurs is to maintain the same quality and to constantly come up with new designs both practical and stunning.
Is there any scope for further growth for your company? If so, what is holding you back?
Yes, we see a lot of potential growth in the coming future. We have to let go of a lot of growth opportunities each day because of the lack of time, each piece being exclusive and handcrafted. We personally don't regret this as mass production was never on our agenda, but at the same time we also realize that a fewmore helping hands in the form of recruits may help us to go that extra mile.
What is the profile of your customers?
Our customers fall in the range of 18-45 years. They are trendy, fashion conscious, environmentally aware modern women. We have been receiving orders from the UK and USA.
What are your achievements?
Our primary achievement has been to be able to spread a green message. People collect used plastic bottles for us and give them to us. So the biggest achievement is to make few pieces of stunning jewelry, and one less plastic bottle to literally choke the planet. There are quite a few multinational companies that collect used plastic bottles for us to turn them into more durable ‘artwear’ and be part of this green initiative.
What is your advice for a young entrepreneur?
Everything is not rosy and glossy when it comes to entrepreneurship, the mounting work, the constant struggle with limited time-frames, having to manage everything on your own, sleepless nights, the list of challenges are never ending.
If you are creative, passionate, and want to change the world, just take the plunge. You will love your work when a customer calls you just to say that she/he loves the product!